Saturday, 29 October 2011

Tom Waits - Bad As Me

Worth the Wait

This is Waits' first all-new material for 7 years and the album is a signature, accessible gem. It's all here: growl, industrial beats, bar room piano, horn umphs, and - heavens to murkatroid - the streetwise poetry of his lyrics,

Gunplay Maxwell and
Flat Nose George
Ice Pick Ed Newcomb
On a slab in the morgue
Flat Nose looked at Gunplay
And they all looked at me
With a good woman’s love we
Could have saved all three
And there ain’t enough raised right men
It takes raised right men to keep a happy hen
There ain’t enough raised right men

This snippet of the championing of women storytelling comes form Raised Right Men. I couldn't listen to the Waits' Glitter and Doom live album where the voice seemed shredded. It clearly wasn't, or wasn't terminal, and this is highlighted in the gruff but clear falsetto on third track here Talking At The Same Time.

It's simply a great album to get and listen to. The title track has Tom at his howling best with those metallic hits and sax grunts driving the beat. The following Kiss Me is a classic latenight romantic bar room growlcroon, and it is deliciously sensuous: double bass and distant tinkled piano keys wafting the atmosphere through our senses. In next track Satisfied he seems to rant against death, and in doing so invokes Mr Jagger and Mr Richards in declaring he will be satisfied before shuffling off, and this rejection of the gentle departure gets picked up in the, interestingly, Keith Richards vocal assisted Last Leaf

I fight off the snow
I fight off the hail
Nothing makes me go
I’m like some vestigial tail
I’ll be here through eternity
If you want to know how long
If they cut down this tree
I’ll show up in a song

Always good to hear there's more to come.

1 comment:

  1. I do like the word "growlcroon"-is it one of your own? :-)